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Why is Cloud Computing important for Asia?

As Chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association, I often get asked this question. The association sees cloud computing as being poised to drive Asia's growth because of four primary reasons:

  • Proportionally lower IT installed base as compared to other regions around the world
  • Larger number of SMEs with low IT skills and experience
  • Higher number of mobile device end points that are connected to mobile broadband
  • Diverse set of language and culture that are best served by local service providers

Asia consists of a wide spectrum of developed and developing economies. For Asia's developing economies, the IT infrastructure in most commercial and public sector organizations lags that of developed economies. Cloud computing offers these developing economies an opportunity to leap frog legacy IT investments. Organizations can take advantage of the private cloud architectures to maximize productivity, efficiency and agility for these core services. For more contextual services (e.g. collaboration), the same organizations can make use of local public cloud services offered on-demand with operational budgets and avoid tying up their precious capital in non-core investments.

The proportion of commercial business transacted through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is much higher in Asia than other regions in the world. In order to continue to be competitive both locally and globally, many of these SMEs are looking to Information Technology to increase their market reach and productivity. Typically these enterprises do not have the IT skills nor the working capital to build their own in-house IT solution. Before cloud computing, few options were available. Today, easy-to-install-and-maintain cloud-delivered IT applications are available for many enterprise-class services (e.g. ERP). In addition specialist community clouds have the potential to exponentially grow the addressable market of a local industry by giving them access to automated business processes.

The Asia IT environment is characterized by a high penetration of intelligent mobile devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets). Coupled with good coverage of 3G and upcoming LTE access, these devices are the ideal cloud service consumption points. This environment is ready made for the acceleration of consumer IT with innovative applications that provide access to new routes to markets for services and products. In addition to the consumer segment, cloud service providers can make use of the new device form factors to deliver enterprise-class cloud services that result in business agility and reduce the length of the innovation cycle.

Lastly Asia is a combination of countries with vastly different languages and cultures. While pan-Asia and global cloud service providers will be able to address part of the market, there is plenty of scope for local telco providers to leverage their trust-brand and access link visibility and control in order to provide services that are customized to the needs of local cloud consumers.

Cloud Computing is set to take Asia by storm. At the Asia Cloud Computing Association we are poised to guide, facilitate and accelerate this technology change and new business models that will move the market.

What are your thoughts on this question? 

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Bernie Trudelauthor: Bernie Trudel

Chairman of the Association and Cisco Asia Cloud CTO